If you are currently making resolutions to improve your life, health, or finances, make sure a review of your personal property insurance is in order, too. You probably accumulated more belongings throughout 2017, which means you may need additional coverage for those items. In the spirit of the New Year, we’ll help you learn how to assess your coverage needs and improve your policy to assure you are protected against loss.
It’s easy to lose track of all the things you own – particularly after a disaster. Unfortunately, many people forget to claim all their losses when their homes are burglarized or destroyed by fire. A home inventory can help you identify exactly what is missing in those moments, not to mention help you assess how much coverage you may actually need. We here at Feivor Insurance recommend updating your home inventory regularly – particularly after the holiday gift-giving season when you are most likely to add expensive items to your home.
You can take inventory of your home with pen and paper or by utilizing an app or cloud-based software. Be sure to list all of the items you own, whether they are stored at your home or elsewhere. The Insurance Information Institute recommends going room-by-room and then organizing items by category for easy reference. Include serial numbers and purchase receipts if you have them, as well as photos of your items if possible.
Understanding Your Coverage Limits
Once you have a list of your possessions, you can begin reviewing your personal belongings coverage to ensure you are adequately protected. If you have homeowners insurance, the insurance company may provide default personal belongings coverage limits equal to 50 percent of your Coverage A limits (structural coverage). However, you can increase this amount if necessary. If you have a renter’s or condo-owner’s policy, it may be up to you to determine your coverage amount, as there are typically no ‘standard’ limits.
In addition to a total coverage limit, most policies will also impose smaller limits for certain categories, such as firearms, precious metals, and furs. If you have high-value items that exceed secondary coverage limits, talk to an agent here at Feivor Insurance about adding scheduled coverage to your policy.
What to Expect from a Claim
When you file a claim, your loss will be subject to your deductible. If you choose a high deductible, you may enjoy lower premiums, but we recommend only selecting an amount you could reasonably afford to pay after a loss.
To determine the value of your loss, your insurance company will either assume the actual cash value or the replacement value of your belongings. Most standard coverage provides only actual cash value coverage, which accounts for depreciation. If you prefer enough coverage to replace your stolen or damaged items with new ones, talk to an agent here at Feivor Insurance about adding a replacement coverage endorsement to your policy.
For more information about personal property insurance or to request additional coverage for your policy, contact our office today.